LAWRENCE (CBS) — The City of Lawrence is working to rid itself of the “red” high-risk coronavirus classification that it was given by the Mass. Department of Public Health. The indication means the city has had more than eight COVID cases per 100,000 people in the last 14 days.

Towns and cities are colored red, yellow, green, or white based on the number of cases. Red, the highest risk, indicates municipalities with more than eight cases of COVID per 100,000 people, while white, the lowest level of risk, indicates less than five total cases of COVID-19 reported in the most recent 14-day period.

According to a review by the city, about 75% of the last 100 people infected with coronavirus in Lawrence caught the virus from a large public or private party, from traveling outside of a safe zone, or from someone in their house who had gone to a large gathering or traveled outside a safe zone.

To combat this trend, the city plans to continue enforcing the $300 fine for violating the noise ordinance and mask order, follow up in-person and door-to-door with education for anyone who has traveled outside the state’s designated safe zones, and by limiting food service hours.

“Being a High Risk community is a scarlet letter and we all should be concerned. This plan will start with strong enforcement of loud music calls that will be treated as possible spread events, which will include taking the Governor up on his offer of using State Police for assistance with enforcement, and, follow-up with individual travelers returning to Lawrence to ensure they are following the Governor’s guidance regarding quarantine measures, and the roll-back of food service hours to avoid prolonged exposure and contact,” said Mayor Dan Rivera.

If the city does not see improvements in two weeks, it will consider rolling back to Phase 2 or 1 of reopening.


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